Our History

Public Health Practice in Nebraska and the UNMC COPH

1998 - Turning Point Initiative

Investments from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Turning Point Initiative allow Nebraska to develop, Turning Point, Nebraska’s Plan to Strengthen and Transform Public Health In Our State.

2000 - NEAPHI Established

The Nebraska Educational Alliance for Public Health Impact (NEAPHI) is established in the summer of 2000. Representatives of numerous academic and practice organizations concerned with Nebraska’s public health workforce training and education came together to explore joint interests. NEAPHI was co-chaired by Dr. Magda Peck (UNMC – Department of Pediatrics) and Dr. Dave Palm (NE DHHS – Office of Public Health) and managed by Dr. Brandon Grimm (UNMC – Department of Pediatrics) starting in 2005.

2001 - LB 692 Passed

LB 692 created an annual $50 million endowment (Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund) for health care programs from the principal and investment income from the tobacco settlement fund and the Medicaid intergovernmental transfer fund. The bill provided $5.6 million yearly to fund 16 new multicounty health departments. In 2001 only 22 of the state’s 93 counties were covered by a LHD, by 2004 every county in NE was covered.

2005 - GPPHLI Lunched

Based off recommendations from NEAPHI’s first ever statewide Blueprint for Action in 2003, the Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute (GPPHLI) was developed and launched in 2005. The Institute was directed by Dr. Magda Peck and managed by Dr. Brandon Grimm. The leadership was designed as a regional institute covering Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. Since launching in 2005, the Institute has graduated over 200 scholars (as of 2016).

2010 - PHP Formalized in COPH

In October 2010 Dean Ayman El-Mohandes appoints Dr. Magda Peck as associate dean for community engagement and public health practice and Dr. Brandon Grim as the manager of public health practice. These appointments resulted in the GPPHLI becoming a program of the COPH. Additionally, NEAPHI submitted a proposal to Dean El-Mohandes to restructure the Alliance into an advisory body within the COPH. The proposal was accepted and NEAPHI became the Public Health Practice Council.

2011 - HSRA Funded, PHTC Lunched

Drs. Grimm and Peck submit a successful grant application to HRSA to establish the Great Plains Public Health Training Center. The Great Plains PHTC proposed to strengthen the technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competence of Nebraska’s growing workforce, through continued assessment of needs; workforce and leadership development; collaborative projects between academic public health-related disciplines and governmental and nonprofit agencies; and field placements for students in Nebraska’s underserved areas. The Great Plains PHTC had its funding sunset in 2014, though many of the projects that began with funding have been sustained through other means.

2012 - OPHP Established

Dean El-Mohandes establishes an office of public health practice and names Dr. Grimm as director. Katie Brandert is hired to join the OPHP team as the manager of workforce development programs. The Public Health Practice Council develops a new governing structure by approving bylaws (officially voted on in 2013).

2016 - OPHP Current Day

The Office of Public Health Practice continues to support the state of Nebraska by serving as a facilitator between academia and public health practice. Additionally, workforce development initiatives have expanded to include organization and team development, facilitation assistance, and technical assistance to local health agencies in the state and the region.